I just found out on Fedora 20, that neither with Thunar nor Nautilus (I'm using Xfce4 here), I can't move file from /var/tmp to Trash. More precisely, in Nautilus the menu option is not available, while in Thunar it behaves as "Permanently delete". In either case, this is special-cased.

Why is that? Is Trash supposed to work only from home folder?


No Trash can typically handle anything. The problem is likely more that your userid does not have permissions to move these particular files and/or directories from /var/tmp.

To confirm drop to a shell and cd /var/tmp and check who the owner is of these files as well as the permissions on these files.

$ ls -la /var/tmp


$ ls -la 
total 216
drwxrwxrwt.  8 root root  4096 Feb  6 09:38 .
drwxr-xr-x. 24 root root  4096 Jan  7 02:20 ..
drwxr-xr-x.  2 abrt abrt  4096 Feb  5 12:27 abrt
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root     0 Jan 13 13:49 ipp_class.log
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root     0 Jan 13 13:49 ipp_driver.log
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root     0 Jan 13 13:49 ipp_job.log
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root     0 Jan 13 13:49 ipp_printer.log
-rw-r--r--.  1 root root    53 Jan 13 13:49 ipp_request.log
drwx------.  2 saml saml  4096 Dec 31  1969 orbit-saml
-rw-------.  1 saml saml 20480 Jan 30 00:47 .swo
-rw-------.  1 saml saml 20480 Jan 30 00:46 .swp
drwx------.  3 root root  4096 Feb  5 12:09 systemd-private-dxtLOx
drwx------.  3 root root  4096 Feb  5 12:09 systemd-private-HGWviW
drwx------.  3 root root  4096 Feb  5 12:09 systemd-private-Sga875
-rw-------.  1 root root 65816 Jan 15 17:49 wireshark_pcapng_wlp3s0_20140115174932_AX9520
-rw-------.  1 root root  4056 Jan 15 17:49 wireshark_pcapng_wlp3s0_20140115174942_BrNwdN
-rw-------.  1 root root 30732 Jan 15 17:50 wireshark_pcapng_wlp3s0_20140115174958_Un8VJu
-rw-------.  1 root root 13392 Jan 15 17:56 wireshark_pcapng_wlp3s0_20140115175604_Oyz8JT

So if I were user saml when I ran Thunar or Nautilus and attempted touch any of the files owned by root I wouldn't be allowed to do so, in the above example.

But what user am I?

If you're in a shell and don't know what username you are (don't laugh, it happens) you can use the command:

$ who am i
saml     pts/11       2014-02-06 09:04 (:0)
  • This can't be the problem since the OP can actually delete (see the comment about thunar), it's just the trash that they can't use. I would guess it is because trash is implemented at the partition level and this is a tmpfs filesystem. – terdon Feb 6 '14 at 15:39
  • @terdon - thanks, you should be able to move files in/out of tmpfs. I'm pretty sure that I've done that with shmfs shares before. I would suspect then that it's an option in Thunar/Nautilus that's disallowing the movement of files "across" what they're perceiving as "non-local" disks. Analogous to local vs. network share. This is just a guess though. – slm Feb 6 '14 at 15:48
  • No, I meant that the way that nautilus/thunar implement trash (as opposed to delete) is by having a partition- or filesystem-wide .Trash folder and this might not work on tmpfs. I just found out that Trash is in ~/.local/share/Trash though so I'm probably wrong. Still think it has something to do with the different filesystem though :) – terdon Feb 6 '14 at 15:54
  • I can create, move them out or delete files at that location so that's not the problem. It's probably partitions: /var/tmp is not on tmpfs but on a regular ext4 (/tmp is on tmpfs). – Alois Mahdal Feb 6 '14 at 21:15

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